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Burstiness and tie activation strategies in time-varying social networks

Burstiness and tie activation strategies in time-varying social networks

Ubaldi, Enrico, Vezzani, Alessandro, Karsai, Marton, Perra, Nicola ORCID: 0000-0002-5559-3064 and Burioni, Raffaella (2017) Burstiness and tie activation strategies in time-varying social networks. Scientific Reports (7):46225. ISSN 2045-2322 (Print), 2045-2322 (Online) (doi:

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The recent developments in the field of social networks shifted the focus from static to dynamical representations, calling for new methods for their analysis and modelling. Observations in real social systems identified two main mechanisms that play a primary role in networks' evolution and influence ongoing spreading processes: the strategies individuals adopt when selecting between new or old social ties, and the bursty nature of the social activity setting the pace of these choices. We introduce a time-varying network model accounting both for ties selection and burstiness and we analytically study its phase diagram. The interplay of the two effects is non trivial and, interestingly, the effects of burstiness might be suppressed in regimes where individuals exhibit a strong preference towards previously activated ties. The results are tested against numerical simulations and compared with two empirical datasets with very good agreement. Consequently, the framework provides a principled method to classify the temporal features of real networks, and thus yields new insights to elucidate the effects of social dynamics on spreading processes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2017. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Uncontrolled Keywords: Time-varying networks; Networks models
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC) > Centre for Business Network Analysis (CBNA)
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2020 10:05
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: GREAT d
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 3
Selected for REF2021: None

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